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Evidence for the Historical Occurrence of Wolves (Canis spp.) in Nova Scotia, Canada

Andrei N. Whitaker, Karen F. Beazley

Abstract


Although once common across the entire North American continent, wolves (Canis spp.) have been extirpated from most of their former territory. The historical occurrence and persistence of wolves in Nova Scotia has been a subject of debate because of comments on the wolf’s rarity in early settler accounts and the absence of physical specimens. By consulting historical documents of European settlers, the Mi’kmaw lexicon, and fur trade records, we found evidence for the presence of a wolf population in Nova Scotia (which included the territory of New Brunswick before 1784) at European contact and persisting until the early 20th century.


Keywords


Historical distribution; wolves; Canis lycaon; Canis lupus; anecdotal evidence; Maritime Provinces

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v131i1.1775



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